There is a bit of irony in an artist with the last name Cross, singing about religious disbelief and the afterlife, making “Death Song” all that more interesting. Wavering tremolo-filled guitar leads and lonely vocals only add to the moodiness and depth of the music. With a Nick Drake kind of appeal, Cross’s “Death Song” suggests hugging life with a passionate hold. As luck would have it, Dan Cross can make listeners into music believers.
Released Sep. 13, 2019 as the lead single from the artist’s forthcoming second solo album, Atheist Anthems, the acoustic driven intro to “Death Song” delivers a solitary rhythm and melody. The acoustic strumming and electric fills help create space within something of a floating dream. The vocal work is low keyed yet textured with a muted magnetism, which continues through the entire cut. The accompanying black and white cow skull and antlers cover art for “Death Song” suddenly hits with suitability.
At 1:20, the “Death Song” soundscape sets off into full alternative rock bloom, as drums and bass enter the mix. An overall heavier, almost trippy spirit soon takes hold. Even so, that personalized singersongwriter touch is never lost as Cross discloses, “Take a long last look at me/I’m drifting out towards the open sea…Death will have no dominion over me.” With lyrics and music by Dan Cross, listen closely because the 4:40 track reveals a humanist dose of resistance which leads to a liberated insight. The Atheist Anthems collection was written and recorded from 2017 to 2019 with producer Pete O’Brien.
Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, as a member of the band The Perfect Disaster, the South London-based musician toured with The Jesus and Mary Chain during the group’s Automatic album tour heyday and supported the Pixies. Dan Cross also played guitar on David Westlake’s Play Dusty For Me collection. Outside the recording studio Cross plays solo live shows as well as with friends.
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Paul Wolfle is the publisher of musicinterviewmagazine.com and a web-based journalist who has written for several popular sites. Paul has a passion for connecting with a diversity of musicians who are looking to grow a positive presence on the World Wide Web.